Inter Milan are hoping to keep Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku on loan for another season, according to reports in Italy.
Lukaku enjoyed the best season of his career with the Nerazzuri in 2020-21, earning himself a £98million transfer to his former club, Chelsea.
It was far from a successful 21-22 campaign with the Blues for Lukaku, who essentially told the club he wanted to return to Milan during a controversial interview mid-season.
The Belgian striker’s form dramatically dipped in the wake of the interview before losing his place in the starting XI.
Lukaku got his wish and returned to Inter on a season-long loan last summer.
He is one of several Chelsea players with an uncertain future after so many new additions in the summer and winter transfer windows.
Having said that, Lukaku’s future was already very uncertain, though Chelsea lack an out-and-out No. 9 and head coach Graham Potter is yet to have a proper look at him.
Despite this, the 29-year-old’s current campaign has been even worse than 21-22.
He only has two goals in 11 matches this term, with his playing time being massively hindered by injuries.
While Lukaku has struggled to stay fit and struggled to score when fit, Inter seem to be keen on keeping hold of him for another season at the very least.
This is according to Italian outlet La Gazzetta, who say Inter have put their ‘trust’ in the Chelsea man to overcome his fitness issues and become the player he was during his first spell at the San Siro.
While Inter are focusing on Lukaku’s fitness, they also want the Blues to reduce the current terms of the loan deal.
Inter have been in contact with the lawyer who was ‘decisive’ in Lukaku’s loan move last year, Sebastien Ledure, ‘in the last few days’.
The player and club have apparently ‘agreed’ to discuss a loan extension following their Champions League last-16 tie against FC Porto.
With dialogue already open, the Nerazzurri have shown a willingness to get a deal done despite Lukaku’s lack of impact this term.
The report states that Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been ‘waved under their noses’ as a cheap option with his contract expiring this summer.
However, a move for the Brazilian ‘all depends on Lukaku’.
Unsurprisingly, Lukaku and Inter would like to remain an item, but the Belgian ‘must demonstrate from now on that he has definitively put his physical problems behind him’.
Inter are ‘optimistic’ he can after ‘positive’ feedback from the club’s medical and technical staff.
The Serie A giants paid an €8m loan fee plus €3m in potential bonuses to sign the player last summer and are eager to reduce that amount in the 2023 window. ‘Halving’ the fee is the preference, ‘if possible’.
Inter are hopeful the good relations between themselves and Chelsea will help negotiations.
The report does mention that Lukaku talks could result in the Blues trying their luck with Denzel Dumfries, though they have only just signed Malo Gusto from Lyon.
‘It is up to’ Lukaku now to prove his worth to Inter, but talks with Chelsea show that the Italian club ‘trust’ him.
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